Polarized lenses are specialized sunwear designed to reduce glare from flat surfaces such as water, snow, glass and roads. Glare distorts the true color of objects and makes them harder to distinguish. Polarized sunglasses are useful for driving as well as many sports and outdoor activities, helping participants to see more clearly and avoid potential hazards.
Glare happens. Not just on glass and water, but also on pavement, sand or just about any flat surface. It overloads the retinas with too much visual information and after prolonged exposure just wears you out. Polarized lenses filter out visual noise so you can focus on the facts.
Polarization works by preventing glare from reaching your eyes. Vision occurs when your eye perceives the light rays that reflect off an object. Normally, that light is scattered in some way before it enters your eye. The light bounces off (reflects) multiple surface angles because of an object’s uneven surfaces, such as skin or a rock. With smooth, flat, and highly reflective surfaces, such as water, metal, roads or snow, the light is much more intense.
Polarized lenses utilize a special construction that blocks some of that light as it passes through They act like a filter, blocking some of what’s being reflected into your eyes.
Polarization and UV-protection are NOT the same. So, it’s important to remember that polarized lenses don’t provide UV protection unless they say so.
UV protection alone also does not make a pair of sunglasses effective against reflected glare.
UV-protective lenses work by shielding your eyes from the harmful UV rays, which are linked to cataracts and eye damage. Even short-term exposure to harsh UV light can cause temporary blindness, or photokeratitis. It’s important to always wear sunglasses rated for 100% UV protection when you’re outdoors.
However, since UV lenses don’t prevent glare, you should look for sunglasses that are both polarized and offer UV protection.
With all the lens and coating options available today, it’s easy to understand how you could be confused when shopping for new sunglasses. Polarized lenses are one of the most misunderstood features available and because of this (and their higher price tag), they often get passed over by less informed consumers.
The advantages of polarized lenses far outweigh the additional cost. Polarized lenses provide amazing glare reduction, visual sharpness, and color purity that is unmatched by non-polarized lenses. Because of this, we generally recommend polarized lenses over any other lens type for your sunglasses.
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